Sunday, 10 September 2017

The 2017 field season isn´t over yet!

Upcoming community archaeology excavations under my supervision in 2017.

Raseborg Långåmossarna 7-8.10.2017.

Back to the stone-age with Karis Hembygdsförening and Sällskapet Natura. If you wish to participate please read and contact.

"Durchgangslager Hangö" 3.10.2017 and 13-15.10. 2017.

WW2 conflict archaeology with Teemu Väsisänen and highschool students 3.10.2017 and Hans von Mitzlaff and Lasse Nyman 13-15.10. Please contact me if you would like to help out in either of these two excavations.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The "Deutsches Lager" Exhibition in Helsinki NOW 18.8-10.9.2017

Poetic Archaeology is a group that brings together the expertise of an artist (Jan Kaila), a photographer (Japo Knuutila) and an archaeologist (Jan Fast).

The research project is coordinated by the doctoral programme of the Academy of Fine Arts, and in this exhibition we get to see the results of their project Deutsches Lager – Inside and Beside the Camp. Using an innovative combination of artistic and scientific methodologies, the three researchers have studied a transit camp of the German army that used to be located in Tulliniemi, Hanko, in 1942–1944, both in collaboration and individually.

The camp was used by soldiers in transit to Lapland and back to Germany, and traces of the life in the camp can be found along a hiking trail that was recently opened in Tulliniemi. There are, for example, three barracks, which provide a still picture into the life during the Second World War. 

Numerous artefacts have also been uncovered in the archaeological digs in the area.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Tule mukaan kivikautisen asuinpaikan kaivauksille!

Vielä mahtuu mukaan Kemiönsaaren myöhäiskivikautisen asuinpaikan kaivauksille (Ölmosviken 21-27.8.2017). Mukaan voi tulla päiväksi tai useammaksikin, aiempaa kokemusta arkeologiasta ei tarvita!

Tervetuloa mukaan kaivauksille Kemiönsaareen.

Ilmoittautumiset "Kimitoöns Vuxeninstitut" ennen 14.8.2017. 


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Well preserved stone age grave unearthed near Lake Burtnieks, Latvia!

The remains of a prehistoric fisherman have been unearthed at the source of the Salaca river by Lake Burtnieks.

Photo from the University of Latvia FB page.

"The deceased had been given a fish meal to accompany him, as testified to by a fish bone layer around the skull. It's known that this place was very suitable for fishing and gathering freshwater mussels as the settlement has food remains from its former inhabitants, mostly fish bones and the shells of freshwater mussels," says archaeologist Valdis Bērziņš. He says that the very fact that the meal was placed in the grave suggests that fishing played an important role in the rituals and beliefs of the ancient people.

Photo from the University of Latvia FB page.

The remains were found at the Riņņukalns site, a unique North European Stone Age settlement that may help to shed light on the way people lived around 4,000 years before the common era.

Photo from the University of Latvia FB page.

Bērziņš says that currently archaeologists are digging up the deepest layers of the settlement to find out when people first started living at this site and how their lifestyle changed over time. There's a bonfire site located just by the grave and it could be related to funerary rituals as it contains red ocher, often used for funerary purposes, as well as shards of earthenware dishes.

Archaeologist Valdis Bērziņš (Photo LETA).

Sunday, 6 August 2017

We have started building the Poetic Archaeology exhibition "Deutsches Lager"

Tomorrow we will start work on the border crossing, scientific "Poetic Archaeology" exhibition (Jan Kaila-Japo Knuutila-Jan Fast: Deutsches Lager). The exhibition will open up for the general public in central Helsinki on August 18th 2017.

The project also documents the different historical layers of the German WW2 transition camp. 
Photo Jan Kaila/Japo Knuutila.

I´m feeling both motivated and exited at the moment. Stay tuned for regular posts on our work on this exhibition here.
Archaeological, hygiene related German WW2 finds from Hanko. Photo Japo Knuutila.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Only 22 days to the excavation of the Ölmosviken neolithic/early bronze age dwelling site 21-27.8.2017 (Monday to Sunday)!!

I have to admit I am very excited about this excavation. Our presumption is that this was a major dwelling ste in the middle archipelago some 5000 years ago. It was possibly at least partly simultaneous to the large dwelling site in Salo (Uskela) Sinivuori which I excavated with the late Anna-Liisa Hirviluoto in 1997!

The dwelling site in the pine forest to the right.

Finds from the area (potsherds and tens of quartz flakes) have previously been found in area some 135 m:s in length along the roadside of the narrowroad that cross the excavation site. No archaeological excavations have been carried out on the site so far.

I picked up a few quartz flakes during my last visit.

The vegatation is pine forest, no serious damage seem to have been caused to the site exept for the narrow road.
Light grey coloured cultural layer in the road profile.

It is still possible to join the excavation, just send an email to me or contact Kimito Vuxeninstitut! No previous knowledge is required and you can participate for one  or more days depending on your situation.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 14/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

Todays excavation was interrupted by rain. Due to all the very fragile (paper) and small finds in the ground we can´t conduct  excavations when the soil is wet.

Rain in Hanko, photo Henrik Gahmberg

Better weather is expected tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 13/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

Not that much digging on this beautiful summers day.  Instead we ventured on lenghthy tour looking at the different activity areas of the German transition camp. We looked closely at the "Entlausungsdorf" area, the "Stammofiziersunterkunfte" and "DRK schwester" area as well as the "Ukrainer Lager".

We found a large stash of Finnish messkits today. The messkits were reburied after documentation.

The digging today consisted of excavating the bottom layer of excavation area 5. and filling up of excavation area 4. At some distance from our main excavation area we located a large stash of Finnish WW2 messkits that quite possibly could belong to "V raivaajaosasto". The unit was responsible for clearing mines in the waters around Hanko directly after WW2. There might of course be more possibilities of why and by whom the messkists were buried but we will be a lot wiser after we excavate this area in autumn this year.

Clearing the many seamines after the war was a dangerous task.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 12/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

Grey skies but no rain in Hanko today despite this mornings weather forecast that predicted terrible weather. This ment that we were able to extend excavation area five and dig all day.

The finds appears to extend over several hundred square meters but because this is a nature reserve area we are only excavating  small parts of it. Below you can see pictures of a few of todays finds!

Field made (1944) love trinket with the letters HW inside the heart.

Another ring!

A womans hair comb (a memory from a girlfriend back home?)

Porcellain figurine.

A fragment of a "Sterbebild"or a death notice from a newspaper.

A few surface finds.

Monday, 10 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 10-11/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

Last Friday we were mostly covering up excavation areas but today it was time to dig again. This day started off with a new excavation team, but a very effective one, so the dig got a really good start today. We opened up two new excavation areas and will probably start a third one tomorrow!

Wonderful sunny and warm weather too, can´t complain :)

Large gilded KRIEGSMARINE button.

Text on the backside, "KRIEGSMARINE"

Makers mark FLL for Friedrich Linden, Lüdenscheid, 1938.

New excavation area!

 Fig coffee label from "Voglsanger" in Innsbruck!

 Patriotic brass matchbox cover.

Lüger or Parabelum cartridge. The cdp makers mark is for Theodor Bergmann &co. Waffen und Munitionsfabrik Berlin.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Welcome to join the Ölmosviken late stone-age/early bronze age settlement site excavation 21-27.8.2017 (Monday to Sunday)!

Neolithic flint sickle blade (from nearby Perniö). Photo NBA.

You are now invited to join us in the excavation of this very promising dwelling site from ca 2300-1500 BC. No previous knowledge of archaeology is required! Please sen email to if you wish to particapate for one or more days. The excavation is organised by Kimitoöns Vuxeninstitut.

Potsherds attributable to the so called "Kiukais Culture" have been discovered at the site in 2011. Photo NBA.

The site is situated in SW Finland on Kimitoön near Dragsfjärd. Part nature reserve the area is both scenic an rich in animal life. There are many prehistoric sites here too! The dwelling site was found by locals in 2011 but no previous excavations has been carried out until now!

Sites with finds from the "Kiukais Culture" in Finland.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 9/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

Slightly warmer weather in Hanko today and not quite as windy as during the previous excavation days this week. The second week of excavations is drawing to it´s close but the site keeps on giving...
Below are just a few of todays finds but I think you see what I mean.

 Small mirror with an interesting image on the reverse.

 Excavation area two, layer 2.

 Hand painted small flowers on a comb fragment.

 Lots of interesting finds in this third excavation area.

 A pipe.

 A glass container that once held "VIKING" shoe cream.

Lid to a "Heer Butterdose".

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 8/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

Once again a very hectic day  at the excavations. Archaeology student Anu Varjo finished her work on documenting the German barracks for her MA degree while the rest of us dug three separate excavation areas simultaneously. Lots of small fins today two plus the traditional bottles and food ration cans .

My trustworthy companion since 1990 an "Old school" levelling instrument.

Todays finds included many gaming pieces, many combs, medic realated items, many different types of shaving mirrors and of course lots and lots of uniform realated items.

 Part of a "Heer" cap cockade from "Schirmmütze"

 Ornate ring.

 "Eismeerfront" badge (Kirkenes-Petsamo-Murmansk)

 A dice.

 A pair of broken eye or sunglasses.

 Ornate comb.

Tooth implant.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

"Durchgangslager Hangö". Day 7/15 of the 2017 excavation season.

A few finds from the odder side today, a dental prosthesis and a picture still inside it´s original picture frame, a calendar  from the year 1943 an much, much more!!

A picture of an elderly man still inside it´s original picture frame.

This could possibly be classified as the strangest item discovered so far during the excavations. A dental prosthesis (lower jaw). It´s very, very worn.

Dental prosthesis.

A German comb, partly swallowed up by a tree root.

 The excavation work continues.

 1943 calendar on the backside of a shaving mirror.

An eraser.